I know a lot of white people. I have a lot of white friends. A lot of my clients are white.
My life will never be the same as their life. My life will never be worth as much as their life.
Doesn’t matter how much money I make or how much success I have, it does not matter.
Things are not the same.
I know. Obama is president.
I know, Beyonce.
Blah blah blah.
I think that a lot of people have taken these people — who are huge parts of pop culture society and have used them as representations of the culture as a whole.
“I mean, how can the world be racist when Oprah is so rich and is so influential? She runs the world!”
“I loveeee Scandal so that means things are ok, right? I mean I don’t think of it as a black show, it is just a show so PROGRESSIVE!”
“All the athletes are black so if the world was racist, HOW COULD THIS BE?”
I know you have most likely heard this before but these successes are not only exceptions but in some ways products of the way culture has always been.
Black people have always been objects for entertainment but still excluded in mainstream culture. Artists like The Supremes and Ray Charles would play their music in front of packed audiences full of white teenagers but still have to leave out the side door.
White men listen to more rap music than any other racial group but when they go to hire employees, they won’t hire anyone with a name that resembles some of the real names of the rap artists they listen to everyday.
It is not a coincidence that Obama shows up on shows like “Between The Ferns” and regularly makes stops on Late Night Shows. Fame and equality are not always mutually exclusive and often times in this society to be black and to be famous is to be entertaining and “useful” and the fact of that there are BLACK PEOPLE DOING THINGS is nice but not representative of the culture as a whole.
Not to mention the fact that these examples are so far and few in between when there are SO many big named producers and directors that are all white men. Don’t even get me STARTED on The Oscars.
So, back to the point. No, we are not the same.
Here is the story of what happened to me, a college educated successful business owner (not that it matters but just to show it DOES not matter):
A few days ago my awesome Uber driver and I (both black) got LOST. We were having a fun conversation about Johnny Depp (ha) and we both stopped paying attention so we needed some help. We stopped at a grocery store to ask for some directions.
You should have seen their faces.
Not to keep referencing Beyonce or anything but you would have thought we were Bonnie and Clyde or that weird couple (white) from a few years ago who kidnapped women and made them do weird sex stuff before killing them.
People would barely look at us. At one point one guy stood defensively in front of his white wife as in “ok colored people, MOVE ALONG.”
Fine, ok. Maybe people don’t like other people in cars.
Now let’s jump into the time machine and go back a few weeks.
My Uber driver and I got lost. This guy was kind of creepy and I wanted get out the car. We stop and do the same thing and despite the fact this guy is kind of rude and weird, people HAPPILY walk up to the car and help us at every step of the way. Keep in mind I was visibly uncomfortable and was putting off all types of weird energy but because he is white, he can’t be bad, right?
These are not isolated incidents. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are, how rich you are or how you dress, you are treated like a threat and less than human as a black person in this country. There is nothing you can do to change parts of yourself.
And that is why when something like this happens, black people get angry. We get mad because we can’t change the color of our skin and we can’t FORCE people to stop being pieces of shit and we can’t stop this stuff from happening.
So, no we aren’t going to calm down and be quiet. We have a right to be angry.
Just because your black friends act fine and doesn’t mean it IS FINE.
Cause, wtf, right? WTF.
[14/100] Michelle, a award-winning chef, moves back to her parent’s hometown and buys her favorite childhood diner with hopes of turning it into a hip gastropub. She gets her fruits and vegetables from the colorful farmers scattered around the town, including a millionaire tech genius who moved to a farms after a epic breakdown
So the last time I posted here, I wrote a post that went….viral.
It was on Huffington Post and I was even featured on their live show, Huffington Post Live.
Today I am sharing something equally near and dear to my heart, my very first web series.
For as LONG as I could write, I’ve wanted to write movies and tv shows. I have a old windows 95 computer full of scripts for movies I had planned which were always sequels to movies I wanted to be made. A Mighty Ducks 4. An ending to season 2 of Gilmore Girls that made more sense to me. Creating stories has always been a passion of mine.
Fast forward to today and you’ll finally get to see what me and my team have been working on for MONTHS.
Here is the trailer for “Did You Meet Any Boys?”
Through daily Facetime conversations, a 20-something entrepreneur pieces together the stories of her social media posts for her confused and constantly concerned mother who just joined Facebook.
Here it is!!!!
I really struggled to write this story.
I don’t talk about the fact that I am not a skinny person very often but I figured this was about as good a time as any to “come out the closet” as a ahem “not size 2.” Or 4. Or 6…you get the drift.
Here is what happened.
I’ve been using Habit Forge for the last month, trying to build up a habit of moving my body everyday. Over the course of these last 21 days, I’ve really fallen in love with lifting and look forward to my strength exercises every other day. My dad and I have built up a fun routine that we do together which helps keep me motivated and I feel super hardcore and awesome after I complete a new workout.
This weekend, my very fit sister came into town and she invited me to workout with her and try some new moves. AWESOME! Adding to my strength exercise bank.
My sister and I had the best time. I was already looking to our next workout. This was also my 21st day working out which means that I had completed the 21 days straight challenge, another milestone that left me feeling hype and proud of myself as I was leaving the gym.
On our way out, this trainer stops us. Wait, actually, he stops us, talks on his phone for 5 minutes and THEN proceeds to tell my sister that, and I quote “it has been brought to his attention that you are training someone and you can’t do that.”
I’m sorry, what?
“This is my sister, we were just working out together.” My sister said.
“Well, you can’t train. It doesn’t matter. We have a policy against training in the LA Fitness and you were training her.” He said, making sure to not make eye contact with me.
Apparently, there is a policy. You can’t train anyone at the gym unless you are a LA Fitness trainer. If you ever been to a gym, you have probably seen mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and friends, working out together. It’s pretty common in the workout world. But because my sister is super thin and I’m not, I must be getting training. We must be breaking some type of rule.
This is, of course, not the case. I have a trainer who is not my sister. I work out regularly. I was just doing the moves I already knew and we were doing them together. I even showed her 1 or 2 moves she doesn’t usually do.
He made an assumption. A sizeist one. Someone looked at me and then looked at my sister and decided something fishy was going on.
My sister flipped. My dad furrowed his brow and I tried to keep myself from crying. In the end, they apologized. The manager said it would be addressed. We went on our way.
In the words of everyone on the internet, SMH.
My first instinct was to hate. Hate that gym. Hate everyone who works there and everyone who goes for being such shitheads and creating such a sizeist environment.
Then my next instinct was to feel hurt and vulnerable. I’ve always been that girl who has NEVER cared about going to the gym. Even at my heaviest, I never cared because I didn’t think anyone noticed. But now, it seemed like people were watching. Someone had to be.
Then I felt self-righteous.
“This isn’t about me.” I thought.“ It’s about the other women who finally gathered up the courage to go to the gym and make a change only to be reminded that even though she is at the gym, she still has no business being there.” Blah, blah, blah. I was ready to go to war.
But then I had a eureka moment. All of the body love crap (and I’ll be honest here, I’ve always secretly thought it was bullshit) finally made sense to me.
My body has ALWAYS (in my mind) been a work-in-progress. Don’t get me wrong, I happily cheer on my plus sized sisters-in-arms, encouraging them as they shared their body positive posts, wrote articles and shared pictures in bikinis. I like. I share. I retweet. I’ve even taken classes. I just quietly go about my business, stressing out over a english muffin, jumping on another cleanse or forcing myself to jump on the elliptical after a big lunch .As a result, despite my best efforts, I never truly connected with the movement. I never thought I needed it. I was on the way down, anyway.
What I realize after this experience is that body love has nothing to do with our bodies but the stories. It’s about taking ownership of our stories so that we can be resilient in the moments when the visions and hopes we have for ourselves are challenged by what other people think. It is for those moments when we can’t stand everything we are, because of what everyone else thinks.
It’s about knowing, in that moment when the tall attractive trainer told my sister that she couldn’t train her chubby sister at the gym because it’s against policy, that it’s not about me. It’s about him or that other person who somehow felt threatened while watching my sister working out. SO threatened that he/she felt the need to say something.
I know, duh. But I never got that.
MY body acceptance movement is not about big sweeping gestures. We don’t have to wear bikinis because we can or take pole dancing classes because we can.
I don’t have to stop working out and just “be” when I KNOW I have goals and things I want to do that I can’t do right now. I can keep working. I can keep watching what I eat.
It’s about knowing how to feel and how to act while we do whatever we want to do. Body confidence and acceptance is for the journey, whatever that journey looks for you. Before now, I never understood how those look together.
This is how it looks: I am going to go to a gym (maybe not that one), and keep doing what feels good. Lifting weights feels good, so I keep doing it. Working out with my sister is fun, so I keep doing it. It’s my hope, (and this is MY version of doing what I can for the movement), that it encourages someone else to pick up some dumbells or try out one of the machines. I want that woman out there, wherever she is to have the bravery to take the first step that she wants to take because she knows another girl her size can do it.
And I look like a bad ass doing it.
YAY! Back! Back! Back! I have a lot of fun things planned for the next few weeks and I have to say, it feels good to get back to my personal writing.
Progress on DYMAB: WE ARE EDITING. It is very, very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing how it all goes down. Have you subscribed? You should! I will have a video up there soon I hope!
So what has been going on? I just turned 26! Yay? Turning 26 was tough for me because for the first time in my life I didn’t feel young. I have accomplished a lot so far but I am not the young plucky upstart that I was when I first started sharing my life and business online.
I am also just realizing how much of my twenties were spent working my butt off. I have spent the majority of my days building up my business which I feel is FINALLY sustainable enough for me to finally stop holding my breath and start doing stuff.
But that feeling of OH I GOTTA DO STUFF feels big. And overwhelming. My initial reaction was OMG I GOTTA SELL MY STUFF AND TRAVEL AND STUFF. PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOMENTS LIKE THIS SELL THEIR STUFF.
This is a result of our ALL or nothing culture we have going right now. Either you go backpacking around the world or you are a sad homebody who does nothing but watch netflix and eat. I hate that. I really do.
Well, I am no world traveler. I don’t have wanderlust. In fact, if you asked me somewhere I was DYING to go, I’d most likely talk myself out of every option I said. I honestly love going anywhere that isn’t where I live. I am that person who gets excited in your city even if you live in a sucky city. I hate logistics and love my dog BUT I am on mission to inject more awesomeness in my day-to-day life and so in true Hey Shenee fashion, I have given myself a challenge. WOOO.
27 things before 27!
This challenge was inspired by Sarah over at Yes and Yes. She resolves to do things every year. New things! Some easy! Some hard!
And so I figured this was a great way to start for me. I like this because it’s all about filling my life with experiences by doing what I do in business. Defining goals and reaching for them.
Now I am sure a lot of the things on this list will feel like a piece o’ cake (hehehe) BUT for a homebody who spent over a year at my parent’s house after graduation before moving into an apartment in Austin (and not going that many places after), my 2nd half (of my twenties) adventure is going to happen in small steps.
Just call me the Bit-by-bit Adventurer! The Slow Moving Life-Liver! Something else!
So with all that in mind, here is my list and I NEED YOUR HELP!
Have an idea for me? Know someone who can help me make an item on this list happen? Want to do one of these with me? I am also resolving to say yes more during my second half so anything that comes to mind, let me know! I am super open! The new country one will be an interesting one. I KNOW I gotta go to San Francisco but the rest is up in the air.
Ok, enough talk! Here is my list!
- Go whale watching
- Write a movie review
- Get a professional massage
- Go on a hike and climb something tall
- Read Catcher In The Rye
- Pick a favorite charity and donate 1 product proceeds for the cause
- Create a gallery wall in my apartment
- Take a salsa lesson
- Publish something on kindle
- Go to a monster truck show
- take a underwater selfie
- Watch Gone with the Wind
- Host a dinner party
- Go Speed dating
- Complete a solo DIY project (this is actually a big deal for me haha)
- Read a Jane Austen novel
- Design my own inspirational print and put it up for sale
- Go rowing on a lake
- Find a signature lipstick color
- Visit 3 new cities I have never been to
- See a 90′s cover band in concert
- Go on a community bike ride
- See the golden gate bridge in person
- Go surfing
- Teach at a retreat in a exotic location
- Send a short story to a contest
- Go to a country I’ve never been to
Sorry it has been such a crazy long time since I’ve written anything. I announced my big thing and then just bounced.
A lot is happening right now, friends.
1. I went to Portland and spoke at a event. It was awesome.
2. I am in the midst of a HUGE rebrand and writing non-stop pretty much everyday.
Oh yeah — I am writing a web series! WHAT?
Yeah, that is still happening.
My director and I (yes, I have a director, it’s insane) had our first production meeting this past Saturday.
A little preview:
A lot of people have been surprised that I have jumped on this idea (having my own webseries) so quickly but after working on my business for the last few years and making lots of things happen I have figured out the 3 key things to do to get shiz done.
1. Bring someone else on board – AKA “BIG IDEA PRODUCER”
Once I decided I wanted to write my own web series, my first instinct was to start building a team to make it actually happen. Think about how many ideas live and die in our own brains. When you bring someone else on board, these ideas become harder to kill because someone else is relying on you to keep the idea alive. Someone else is on your team.
I told my friend Jessica about DYMAB and gave her the title of producer before I even wrote the script. She gave me due dates and kept me on track. TRUE FRIENDSHIP.
I am obsessed with the idea of a “producer” and plan to have one for every big new plan I want to make happen.
My definition of a BIG IDEA PRODUCER:
Someone who will check in with you, brainstorm ideas and give you random due dates so that you have a clear focus.
If you have something you truly want to make happen, recruit a big idea producer to help you out.
2. Start NOW
You know that high you get when you first have that big idea to do that big thing? A lot of the time people waste that high on planning and by the time its time to actually take action, that excitement has burned off. As a result, the big thing doesn’t happen. This is also why you most likely have notebooks full of ideas and diagrams but very little to show for it. Life happens. Reality happens. You start to think about how much it will actually take. The best thing I could have ever done to help DYMAB happen was to start writing a script and outline as soon as I had the idea. That way, I already made progress and I didn’t have any time for the excitement to go away.
I have been able to successfully get over the dip after the initial high because I had already made so much progress by the time I started to feel my focus and energy going down. Once that happened, the wheels had already started turning.
It’s the best way to make your ideas sustainable.
What can you do TODAY to make HUGE progress on your big thing so you survive he dip?
3. Start with SMALL victories
My director and I decided do to one episode. That is the plan for now. We make ONE episode happen, see how it goes and then see what is next. The worst thing you can do for your big idea is PLANNING SO BIG that it doesn’t even feel possible. Instead of trying to do something EVERY month, decide to do it just once. Instead of creating the BEST project ever, just start with a mini project to get you started. The small wins = a bigger emotional pay off than waiting for the big win and risking the come down feeling if it doesn’t work EXACTLY like you though. Small victories are motivating, yo.
4. BONUS – PICK A DATE
Our audition for the show is May 3rd. No matter WHAT that is when we will be sitting down and hearing people audition for the parts. Picking a date to talk to someone, plan an event or release a thing is another way to make sure you actually DO the things you say you will do.
Life will never stop being crazy. NEVER. So it’s pretty useless to try and wait for that to happen. So let’s do it now, shall we?
So those are my 3 tips for making sure your BIG THING happens.
1. Get a BIG IDEA producer
2. Take action NOW and do as MUCH as you can
3. Start with small victories
I want to hear your big ideas! Comment below!
So, I am finally announce the thing I am working on! I have been hesitating to announce it because I wanted to make sure I was really committed to the idea and got the wheels turning to actually make it happen. Well, I have written a few scripts, I have talked to a few people and I am convinced that this will happen in some shape or form.
I’ve been posting a lot about taking facebook breaks, concentrating and being afraid of the suck. All of that was about what I’m announcing today.
Did You Meet Any Boys? — The Web Series!
WHAT?! GET EXCITED.
Here is the logline thingy:
Through daily facetime conversations, a 26 year old workaholic entrepreneur pieces together the stories of her social media posts for her confused and constantly concerned mother.
When Jo’s best friend Mai gets engaged at her birthday party, Jo decides to change her life with the help of her friends, family and the community of self-development businesses she has helped to build.
This series is inspired my life of course but most of it is fictional. If you follow me on facebook, however, some of the stories WILL look familiar to you. Oops.
I can’t tell you how deeply afraid I am of what I am trying to create with this. I am in a whole new zone and place and my comfort zone is in Georgia and I am in Hawaii. Basically.
Right now I am just getting the logistical pieces together. I thiiink I have someone to help shoot and direct it. I’ve written some of the episodes. We still need to figure out the scope of the project, find actors and decide if we need to do kickstarter or indigogo to start funding it.
My production company is either gonna be called Golden Pork Chop or What’s Her Face. Most likely, What’s Her Face Productions.
I’ll be sharing all things DYMAB here at this blog SO make sure you are subscribed. I am currently going back and forth about the name for the youtube channel but I’ll be sharing that soon so that you can subscribe and stufffff.
I have no clue what I am doing but I am gonna do it, yo.
I am sharing this because I know there are a million things we say we are going to do and never actually do them. I have been saying that I am going to create — SOMETHING — forever. For years. Forever. I stumbled upon the web series world and really loved it and I am going for it.
If there is been something you’ve been MEANING to do forever, let’s do it this year. This month.
This is the WORST possible time. I am in the middle of a re-launch. I am speaking at an event. So much craziness. But I want to do this so I am doing it.
Here we go.
I hate sucking at things
Let me explain:
When I was in college, I was obsessed with my creative fiction classes.I took it very seriously and while I ignored most of my other college assignments, I slaved over every story I wrote.
Now, 3 or 4 years later, I find it difficult to finish anything.
Because I don’t want to suck.
A little under a year ago, I started taking improv classes. I took 2 of them, back-to-back and then had to leave on vacation and couldn’t take it again.
I’ve been having mini panics over taking the class again (and especially about which class to take) all freakin’ week.
Why? Because I don’t want to suck.
I HATE not being good at things.
There is this talk by Ira Glass in which he talks about the burden of being a creator when you have good taste. You KNOW what is good and what is bad and you can tell that the stuff you are creating? It’s not that good, yo.
I hate that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my business students and how they struggle with the same things I am struggling with in my non-business life and tried to think of some of the advice I’d give them.
In business, there is only one thing you can do to get over those feelings of suck.
Just show up.
Do what you gotta do. Meditate. Pray. Have sex. Eat a cookie. Do all of that at once which I bet is something Brad and Angelina do all the time.
Do whatever you need to do to just SHOW UP. Because that is the hardest part. Once you show up enough, it stops being so crazy.
It reminds me of how I used to feel about getting my eyebrows waxed. I always put it off and I always dread it.
It’s gonna be SO painful. My face is gonna burn. I AM GONNA GET A WEIRD EYEBROW INFECTION.
I drag my feet getting in the car. I drag my feet traveling up the street to the nail salon. I overdose on mints that are most likely expired while I wait. With deep breath and a mouth full of spearmint I say “ok” when it comes time for her to take me to the mysterious back room.
And once it happens, it happens. Wax happens. There is actually something amazing about it.
Afterwards, I am always OK. I feel lighter (my eyebrows can get pretty redic) and my face looks great, yo.
I still dreaded it the next few times but then eventually, something miraculous happened.
I just went.
I danced to the music on the way there. I sat and read magazines while I waited.
When she called my name, I went back and just let it happen.
I think this is what will eventually happen with improv and writing.
If I just show up every morning to write SOMETHING, I’ll stop thinking about the pain I could possibly feel.
If I just go to the improv class, I’ll stop thinking about how much I suck at it.
In the meantime, I am going to do whatever I can to support myself in the SHOWING UP part because that is the most important.
The rest will take care of itself.